You are here: Home >> Other >> Word and Topic Studies PDF of article

Keys, Doors and Gates

Keys and open doors/gates are used to illustrate the opportunity to obtain something, or to get somewhere (whether entering or exiting through it). Closed doors/gates are used to describe the lack of such an opportunity.

A. Keys / Doors / Gates related to salvation and the opportunity to be saved

  1. A warning that the way to salvation is not easy to find: It is like a narrow, hard to find gate (contrasted to a wide, readily visible gate) - Matthew 7:13-14.
  2. Jesus is the way. He is described as the good shepherd, as well as the gate to the sheep pen - John 10:1-18 (verses 1-3, 7, 9 use the word "gate").
  3. A stern warning against people who keep others from entering the kingdom of heaven, by taking the "key to knowledge" away from them - Luke 11:52.
  4. The apostles were given the authority to proclaim this message about Jesus. Peter, who was the first to acknowledge an understanding of this truth, was described as being given the "keys" of the kingdom of heaven, which would open the "gate" to salvation - Matthew 16:19. [The other apostles also had this authority to proclaim the message. But historically, Peter was the one God used to first "open the door" to the Jews (Acts 2), and then to the non-Jews (Acts 10).]
  5. This message about salvation, this "door of faith," has been opened (is available) even to non-Jews - Acts 14:27.

B. Keys / Doors related to the proclamation of the good news about salvation (examples)

  1. A request for prayer, that God would open the door (opportunity) for proclaiming the good news about Christ - Colossians 4:3. [In this verse, this good news is described as a "mystery": a previously-unrevealed truth that needed to be proclaimed to everyone.]
  2. The door (opportunity) for preaching the good news about Christ: It was opened by God - 2 Corinthians 2:12.
  3. An open door (opportunity) successfully entered: It resulted in the salvation of many - as well as opposition by those who were enemies of the good news - 1 Corinthians 16:9.

C. Keys / Open Doors related to life in Christ

  1. The opportunity for fellowship with Christ: It is available to all who "open the door" to him - Revelation 3:20. [Note: These people claimed to have all the blessings of salvation, but in God's eyes, they were spiritually naked. (They still needed "clothed" with salvation.)]
  2. "Open doors" related to answered prayer: Knock and the door will be opened to you (etc.) - Matthew 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-10.
  3. An "open door" of authority and opportunity

D. Keys / Doors / Gates related to prophecy, eternity and judgment

  1. An open door to heaven, allowing John to see the visions - Revelation 4:1.
  2. The gates of the eternal city
  3. Keys / Doors related to death, Hades (the place of the dead) and the bottomless pit ("abyss")

Dennis Hinks © 2002